Being laid up at home, unable to drive or sit comfortably for more than about 5 minutes, I’ve indulged in more than my fair share of Netflix hours. Especially on the documentary section. Pretty impressed with a number of them, but the only problem is, there about how bad our society has gotten, how we need to conserve the natural resources on the planet, all the regular issues we’ve seen for years.
Something I noticed in the majority of these conservation documentaries was how negative they were. I mean, it is understandable, especially for these folks that are actually out there in the jungles or rainforests trying to stop the uncontrollable deforestation, the hunting of anything that moves for the bush meat trade, all these things and more they have to deal with up close and personal. They have the right to be a little peeved at the rest of us sitting in our typically nice houses, with all our amenities burning up energy with no regard to the long term effects. Or the people who want that rare hardwood floor in their five thousand square foot home but don’t consider the consequences on the patch of rainforest that’s devastated for no reason other than aesthetic purposes to impress friends or neighbors.
Despite their right to be disappointed with how slowly we seem to be switching to alternative energy sources, how much we continue to consume unnecessarily, and the ridiculous amount of garbage and pollution we pump out annually, chastising/lecturing/guilt tripping the folks who actually watch the documentaries seems like a poor, less than effective way to not only get your point across, but leave people encouraged by what they’ve just seen.
I’m not suggesting we sugarcoat the destruction we’ve caused and continue to cause. What I am suggesting is that after mentioning thousands of species of plants and animals are declining rapidly, with hundreds going extinct each year, offer some kind of solution for the average joe’s like myself to contribute to the cause locally, in a way that doesn’t necessarily have to be donated money.
Give us information on where we can find ways to help the environment in our local communities, in our states. Then end the documentary on a high note. Ex. “We’ve still got a long ways to go before the flat footed blue billed puffon can be removed from the IUCN red list. But thanks to conservation efforts of regular people like yourselves, the population has doubled since the breeding program began. We would like to thank our contributors and viewers for making this possible. Please visit X website for more information on how you can help save the planet!”
I just feel that by making a more positive documentary about the things we need to fix in this world for the good of every living creature, humanity included, we will see more people contributing to protecting and preserving our beautiful home.
So I was just watching a video demonstrating the possibilities of bringing extinct animals back to life by taking preserved DNA from the extinct animal and using it’s closest living relative to incubate and conceive the extinct animal. First off, I’ll say it looked like it had a little way’s to go before it would be as easy as clicking a few buttons on a computer then tapping enter. Secondly, I can understand the moral and ethical debate associated with bringing back something that is no longer around, playing God if you will.
Like with any technology, it will grow and evolve into a more viable and cost effective option for species that are no longer with us. Whether it’s five years or fifty depends greatly on the amount of interest that can be generated in the project, same holds true for just about everything.
On to the second point. While I can understand the prior argument, as well as the argument of some conservationists that if we can just bring back extinct animals, no one will care about protecting the ones we already have, I have to wholeheartedly disagree, to a point. If a species was killed either directly or indirectly by people or the influence of people on their ecosystems and we have the potential technology to correct our prior mistakes, do we know owe it to ourselves as the most intelligent things in the known universe? I think yes.
Plus let’s face it, even without the technology to reverse extinction we eliminate a ridiculous number of species every year and have been for quite a while. But really, we’ve only known we were even capable of causing the extinction of a species for a short while big picture wise. Not only that, so many people are doing amazing things to protect the natural world around us. If such a technology as de-extinction becomes viable, and were used in an appropriate manner, I believe it would be very beneficial in the right hands at restoring ecosystems lost to societal progress.